Class is back in session…
Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style–with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspected what–or who–they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all.
Gather your poison, steel tipped quill, and the rest of your school supplies and join Mademoiselle Geraldine’s proper young killing machines in the third rousing installment in the New York Times bestselling Finishing School Series by steampunk author, Gail Carriger
If the steampunk genre could have a beach novel series, Finishing School would be it – and I don’t mean it as an insult. Carriger has so nailed down her plotting, her pacing and her writing style so well that reading these books is like slipping into an old sweater that you wear when you just want to be cozy. The reader knows more or less what they’re going to get when they start a book and you’re pleased when you’re done reading.
Sophronia continues to be as charming, resourceful and likable as she’s always been. Carriger does a nice job of wrapping up a storyline between her and Soap as well. It was respectful of both the characters desires and the realities of the world they live in. I also like the set-ups of the future for some of the characters as well. They show some good thought put into them.
I find this book a bit hard to review; to be honest. At this point you’re either a fan of Carriger or you’re not. Her books occupy a bit of an odd niche: lightly comedic paranormal steampunk (and steampunk was a niche genre as it was!) and if your sense of humor isn’t like hers this just might not be a cuppa. If you’ve tried to read her books before and weren’t convinced, this isn’t going to sway you.
That said, I got exactly what I wanted out of this book and I expect fans of hers will as well, and on that merit alone I recommend this book.
Verdict: Buy It
P.S. if you’re thinking of giving this series a go, I highly recommend reading Soulless (the first of her adult series) first. While this series does standalone, the world does not. As the world was well established by the time she started this series, she doesn’t always go as deep into the world building in this book. You know what you need for the immediate situation, but you might be startled by the sudden appearance of a werewolf in a world where, prior to that point, gave no hints that they existed. Characters from that series also do crossover the deeper you get into this series. Basically, everything just makes that much more sense for having some kind of introduction to the world. Her style also remains very consistent across both books, so if you like that, you’ll probably enjoy this.